Chandler Parents Talk 'Identity, Stereotypes And Race'

By Mariana Dale
Published: Tuesday, February 27, 2018 - 6:15pm
Updated: Tuesday, February 27, 2018 - 9:28pm

Amid claims racist incidents in the Chandler Unified School District, an estimated 150 people attended a forum on diversity at a Santan Junior High School on Monday night.

The meeting happened after weeks of public outcry over a video on social media showed junior high school students chanting a racist song.

Read more: Chandler Junior High Diversity Forum Seeks To Change Conversation Amid District Criticism

Parents of students of color and white students were invited to learn more about race and stereotypes and how they relate to education.

The two-hour event was not open to the media.

Facilitator Matthew Whitaker said in an email most of the 152 people in attendance were white.

“A key takeaway, in my opinion, is that we had a room full of white parents and community taking (sic) about identity, stereotypes, and race,” Whitaker said.  “This is extremely important and rare.”

Parents asked for tools to educate others on race and wanted to see similar programs extended to schools.

District spokesperson Terry Locke said in an email Whitaker offered his services to the district at January school board meeting.

The Chandler Unified School District Governing board will hear a summary of the forum at its meeting Wednesday.

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